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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:22

Grassland Boxing Club competes in Medicine Hat

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Grassland Boxing Club Coach Mike Kucik with 13-year-old Janick Lacroix of Ponteix, who won his bout at the Ev Nieman Memorial boxing card in Medicine Hat, Jan. 24. Grassland Boxing Club Coach Mike Kucik with 13-year-old Janick Lacroix of Ponteix, who won his bout at the Ev Nieman Memorial boxing card in Medicine Hat, Jan. 24. Photo contributed

Three boxers from the Grasslands Boxing Club in Ponteix participated in a tournament in Alberta.

The annual Ev Nieman Memorial boxing card took place in Medicine Hat on Jan. 23-24.
Grassland Boxing Club Coach Mike Kucik has been taking boxers to that city for many years.
“It was a very good weekend,” he said. “It’s a real major card that we attend. I think it’s my forty second attendance in Medicine Hat. It’s a long time. I meet a lot of good people there.”
Kucik has known Bill Page, a founding member of the Medicine Hat Boxing Club, for more than 40 years. Page passed away in early January after a brief battle with cancer.
“They’ve always treated us well,” Kucik said about the club. “The competition is great and you’re always treated with respect and honesty.”
There were around 35 bouts at the two-day event with a good level of competition that presented a real test for his boxers.
“It was a good challenge for them,” he said.
He noted the tournament was attended by clubs from across Alberta, including Lethbridge, Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary.
“They’re good, big clubs,” he said. “So they train hard there and they train with some of the semi-pros, which is a big asset to them. We’re kind of under the gun here because we don’t have that type of training sessions here, but you work hard and you work with what you’ve got and you go from there.”
Eleven-year-old Keesan Swann of the Grassland Boxing Club won his bout in the 80-pound weight class against Jeremiah Warnke of the Medicine Hat Boxing Club on Jan. 23. It was a unanimous decision by the judges.
“This was his third bout,” Kucik said. “He boxed in Leader last fall, and then he won that fight. Then we had him in Regina maybe a month ago and he lost a close decision to a kid from Winnipeg and then this time he won this bout in Medicine Hat.”
Swann and his older brother, who are from Gull Lake, have been working out with Kucik since last year.
“They’ve been coming down here for six or seven months now,” he said.
The Grassland Boxing Club’s Abram Dyck was also between the ropes on Jan. 23. He lost a close bout against Hussein Tobi of the Calgary Boxing Club in the 130-pound weight class.
“Abram had a very close decision against a much taller opponent, but it was a good event for him,” Kucik said.
Dyck was back in the ring the following day, when he won over Kyle Hanson of the Edmonton Boxing Club in a unanimous decision.
“On Sunday he had a very, very strong kid,” Kucik recalled. “So that was a really good fight and he won that.”
Dyck, who lives in Shaunavon, achieved a milestone in Medicine Hat when he had his tenth bout. He will therefore not be considered a novice anymore and will move up to the open category for future fights.
“Sometimes it doesn’t really matter that much, if somebody has seven, eight bouts or if it is 11 or 12 or 13, but as you go higher up you’ll get people with more bouts,” Kucik said. “You might end up with somebody with 15 or 20 bouts that you’re fighting. So it will get tougher, but that’s part of it.”
Thirteen-year-old Ponteix boxer Janick Lacroix stepped in the ring for the Grassland Boxing Club on Jan. 24. He won a unanimous decision over Seamus Toner from the Calgary Boxing Club in the 141-pound category.
“Janick actually had a re-match because last year this time he fought the same kid and he lost a close decision,” Kucik said. “So this time it was a hard fought, hard bout, but he won a unanimous decision there.”
Lacroix has a good record with four wins out of five bouts and he trains regularly.
“He comes and works with me just about every night,” Kucik said. “The only problem is we have nobody to spar against.”

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